Monday, December 3, 2012

Miracle Worker

7th graders:  Please read the remaining pages of Act One of Miracle Worker and be prepared for a SURPRISE quiz tomorrow! 


Mrs. Wald


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Upcoming test AND progress reports

Dear parents,


Students should be studying for their next Word Whiz Test on Friday.


Additionally, students were given a half sheet of paper with their average and missing work listed.  Please ask to see this paper.  The missing work on the list will drop the listed average if the assignments are not completed.  I offered lunch time and after school today, plus tomorrow morning, lunch, and after school for makeup work time.  Grades must be submitted to Edline tomorrow afternoon, so the missing work will need to be completed by then, or will have to be recorded as a zero.  


Even once missing work is put in as a zero, it can STILL be made up until the end of the marking period, though the progress report grade will stay the same and still impact eligibility.  I encourage students to do the work, even for late credit, or they miss out on the learning.  As I told the students today, I hate entering zeroes in my gradebook.


Have a nice night. 


Abby Wald




Thursday, October 25, 2012

7th Grade Extra Credit

7th graders have been offered the following EXTRA CREDIT assignment, due by 3 PM on Monday the 29th:


For a 40-point quiz grade, re-read Finn Mac Coul from the Medieval Tales book in my classroom.  Do this during free time -- lunch, study hall, after or before school -- in my presence. Then, create a timeline of the story with 20 events. 


Reminders:  Charter Day assembly Friday at 8:30;  FULL SCHOOL EVACUATION DRILL at 10 on Monday.

Abigail P. Wald
Fair Haven Grade School
Middle Level English Language Arts
Middle Team Co-Leader
802-265-3883, ext 249

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


6th grade homework for tonight:  Complete review worksheet on chapters 1 – 5 of Where the Red Fern Grows.

Monday, October 22, 2012




6th and 7th graders have a homework assignment tonight to write a SUMMARY of their out-of-class reading book (realistic fiction) using ten of their “Fun and Useful” words.  The words are:

Commence, treasury, vague, simian, notorious, tyro, significant, toil, lionize, jostle, heed, balk, juvenile, reap, culinary, delectable, judicious, combustible


7th graders also have homework this whole week:  to read the chapters in their in-class reading book that their group assigned, AND to do the work required of the role they selected. 


REMINDERS to all: 

Awards assembly tomorrow morning, in the gym, at 8:30. 

Supermarket BINGO items needed.

Fair Haven Charter Day assembly Friday morning, in the gym, at 8:30.



Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Red Fern Homework

6th graders have 14 words from Where the Red Fern Grows to define, copy from the text, and then write original sentences for.  This is due on 10/15. 


Monday, October 15, 2012

homework this week



Homework for 7th graders this week:  Reading group assignments, continue in independent reading of "realistic fiction" for the month, any classwork (from stations) that is not completed in class.


Homework for 6th graders this week:  continue in independent reading of "realistic fiction" for the month, any classwork (from stations) that is not completed in class, probably a vocabulary assignment Tuesday night. 


Abigail P. Wald
Fair Haven Grade School
Middle Level English Language Arts
Middle Team Co-Leader
802-265-3883, ext 249

Thursday, October 11, 2012

homework tonight

7th graders in block ONE have a paragraph to write on Beowulf.  See yesterday's email for details.


7th graders in block TWO have various assignments based on their reading groups -- some are reading ten - fifteen pages, and some are writing a "journal" entry.


Students will have NECAP testing tomorrow morning, so please encourage an early bed time (I know how hard it will be to pull kids away fromt the vice-presidential debate, right?) and a good breakfast.  Two days of testing left!


Abigail P. Wald
Fair Haven Grade School
Middle Level English Language Arts
Middle Team Co-Leader
802-265-3883, ext 249

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Homework 6 and 7

6th grade homework is to write the beginning of a story about a food fight.  It must be at least 5 sentences long, and it should set the stage for a good story -- characters, setting, conflict, et cetera.  In addition, the story beginning must include at least one example of alliteration and one example of onomatopoeia.


7th graders in the third block only (tomorrow this will be block one homework) have a constructed response paragraph to write about Beowulf.  They will begin with the following quotation from the story, and then prove  the quotation's truth (three parts) through details and examples:

          "They gave thanks for Beowulf.  Once he set his mind, he never backed down. Steadfast, right-hearted, to the end."


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

homework tonight

6th graders DO have homework tonight.  They were given a list of 10 vocabulary words from chapter one of Where the Red Fern Grows.  They have to look up the words, locate and copy the sentence the word is found in, and then write an original sentence using the word. 


Abigail P. Wald
Fair Haven Grade School
Middle Level English Language Arts
Middle Team Co-Leader
802-265-3883, ext 249

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Homework September 26

6th grade homework tonight is to complete a G-O (a graphic organizer) for the character traits of Rachel in "Eleven". 

7th grade has no specific homework tonight.

6th and 7th graders have a "composting" packet (NECAP review) due on Friday.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Homework and reminders

6th and 7th graders have a two-sided word whiz review sheet to complete for homework.  There will be a TEST on word whiz on Wednesday for both grades.


7th graders have to find three facts about the Medieval time period and bring them written to class.


6,7,8 Open House is tonight, beginning at 6:30 in the gym.  Please come!



Thursday, September 20, 2012

7th grade homework tonight

7th graders have no NEW homework tonight, though they need to make sure they have finished their "Mrs X and Mrs Y" packet from classwork this week.


Also, please note that there will be a TEST next week - possibly Wednesday - on the Word Whiz study we have been doing in class.  Students were provided the opportunity to email or print their notes from their iPads during class today.  They should STUDY for the test, particularly the word parts and the language arts terms.  I suggested flashcards, copying the notes out, making quizzes for self or friends, et cetera. 




homework tonight, grade 6

~6th graders have a two-sided review sheet for homework tonight.  They should use their notes.


~Additionally, if they haven't finished it yet, the packet on the poem, "Mrs X and Mrs Y" is due Friday.


~There will be a test on ALL the Word Whiz words next week (Wednesday?), so consider an appropriate study method -- flashcards, self-quizzing, peer-quizzing, copying notes, et cetera.




Thursday, September 13, 2012

9-13-2012 Homework

All students need to be steadily reading their nonfiction books.  Books should be coming to class every day and going home every night as well. 


6th graders have a double-sided worksheet tonight that is tough, but not impossible.  In class, we are using the same strategies as the worksheet demands, so with some effort, all should be able to complete it successfully.  I know that they worked on it with Mrs. Kirk in study hall. 


7th graders do not have any homework other than reading. 



Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Homework 9/12

Good afternoon!


6th grade homework tonight is a two-sided worksheet reviewing prefix skills and meaning in context skills.


7th grade homework tonight is a two-sided worksheet reviewing root words and context clues. 



Abigail P. Wald
Fair Haven Grade School
Middle Level English Language Arts
Middle Team Co-Leader
802-265-3883, ext 249

Monday, September 10, 2012

7th Grade Homework 9/10

7th Grade homework for tonight is to rewrite their summer paragraph using the 11 elements of a paragraph reviewed in class today.  All are expected to bring in BOTH an improved paragraph AND the original paragraph for grading. 


For your information, the basic elements we discussed in class are:

1.  Responds to given prompt

2.  Includes topic and concluding sentence

3   Includes a minimum of three supporting details.

4.  Uses a variety of sentence structures

5.  Uses topic-specific vocabulary

6.  Elaboration on at least one detail

7.  Capital letters and punctuation for sentences

8.  No misspellings of "No Excuses" words

9.  No fragments or run-ons

10. All pronouns have a clear referent

11. Paragraph is a minimum of 8 sentences


A final requirement, because we are practicing for the NECAP, is that the paragraph HAD to fit in the confines of the provided box.  This may mean that some students need to write smaller and/or condense their ideas while still being sure to address all 11 aspects reviewed in class. 


Monday, June 4, 2012

Exams and Preparation

Dear Parents,


We had a very good series of graduation speeches today!  What a joy to see the students and how much they’ve grown in their writing, confidence, delivery, and poise in front of an audience in a short few weeks.  Thank you to those parents who were able to attend today. Your kids “did you proud!” I hope to see many parents tomorrow as well.


As you know, the graduation speeches are worth half of the final exam grade.  I wanted to make sure to let you know, though, how your child can be studying for the pen-and-paper portion of the final exam.  I did make available to students a list of “fair game” for the exam, and told them they would be allowed to bring a 3x5 card as a “legal cheat-sheet” to the exam.


My exams are quite lengthy, but not particularly hard.  The trick is two-fold:  endurance and automatic recall.  The number of questions on the exam means that students can’t spend too much time plumbing the recesses of their brains for long-forgotten knowledge;  they need to have quick and rapid access to everything we have learned.  This means they will need to have studied! 


Creating a “cheat sheet” is one step in studying for the exam – it is in this stage that one identifies what one doesn’t know.  Further steps are somewhat dependent on the child’s learning style, but may include such techniques as creating and taking quizzes, reading aloud of notes, making flashcards, texting questions to a friend, drawing pictures of concepts (such as essay structure), copying notes, reviewing old tests and quizzes, and more.  There will be one 80-minute study session on Wednesday afternoon for all students, but that amount of time is unlikely to be sufficient for most students.  Please encourage your child to spend some quality time studying for my exam.


I look forward to seeing all of you at graduation in a little over a week.  Can you believe how quickly the year has flown?




Final Exams 7

Dear Parents of 7th graders:


I just finalized the 7th grade exam.  As I’ve been telling the students for over a week now, it is going to be a LONG exam, but it should have NO surprises.  I gave students a list of “fair game” topics on May 24, and they have been working on review activities for the past week.  The real key to this exam will be stamina and AUTOMATIC recall.  Because of the length of the exam, students will need to be able to rapidly recall definitions and concepts, without hemming and hawing for long periods of time on any one question.  It is essential, therefore, that students put in some real time studying.  There will be an 80 minute study period for all students on Wednesday afternoon at school, but that will not be sufficient for most kiddos. 


To encourage studying, I have had students doing projects on exam topics and presenting/sharing with the class.  I have also told them that they may bring a 3x5 card to the exam as a legal “cheat sheet”.  This card may be filled in on both sides.  The creation of the card is, in itself, an act of “studying,” in that the individual must first identify what he or she doesn’t know.  Students should not stop there;  they should do more studying, such as reviewing the midterm and other tests and quizzes, verbally quizzing a friend, proofreading sentences, writing definitions, reading notes aloud repeatedly, and other techniques.


In case you did not get the earlier email with the topics on the exam, here they are again:

·         Capitalization rules

·         Punctuation rules (comma, semicolon, colon, hyphen, apostrophe, quotation marks)

·         Irregular verbs (ex:  bring, brought, brought NOT bring, brang, brung)

·         Kinds of sentences and associated punctuation

·         Fun and useful words

·         Language arts terms

·         Word parts

·         Ten Little Indians plot and vocabulary

·         Essays – genres, structure, expectations




Abby Wald

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Review Project Grade 7

Parents and 7th grade advisors,


The following information was given in class today for the culminating 7th grade project:

Create either an interactive activity or a presentation (both of 5 minutes duration) to help your class review a topic that will be on the exam.

write and recite a poem

create a video

use voice thread and pictures to explain a concept

make a review game

design an interactive poster

write and act out a skit (live)

write a new version of an old song (same tune, new words)

create a children’s book (ABC or other style)


Possible review topics (all “fair game” for exam):

Capitalization rules

Comma rules

Semicolon, colon, and hyphen rules

Apostrophe rules

Irregular verbs (sink, sank, sunk)

Kinds of sentences and end punctuation

Quotation marks and dialogue

Fun and Useful words (60)

Word Parts

Language Arts words

Ten Little Indians vocabulary

Plot reviews of all stories and books this year

Essays -- genres, structure, expectations


Important Information:

DUE:  June 4

TIME AVAILABLE (in class):  20 - 30 minutes at least 3 times (one hour to count on)

WHO: May have ONE partner, or may work alone

GRADING: 200 points!!!  Judged on: Quality, On time, Depth of information/helpfulness, Use of class work time, Sharing of load, Presentation (if applicable), Engagement


Students will select partners and topics tomorrow (Friday).  In order to ensure that many review topics are covered, only one person or partner will be allowed to do their project on each topic.  Therefore, it is possible that a student may not get his or her top choice for topic.  Students who choose to work alone will have first pick of topics. 




Abby Wald


Thursday, May 17, 2012

8th Grade Homework

Complete first section of the "Dailies" packet given during class.

Also, begin graduation speech by filling in the organizer we made in class. You ONLY need to fill in what you plan to be your "purpose," intended "audience," a possible "theme" or two, and then compose ONLY the first paragraph (welcome and thanks).

Abby Wald

Monday, May 14, 2012

Two things

8th graders should be working on memorizing the Declaration of Independence for recitations TOMORROW, Tuesday, May 15, 2012.  This is a repeat assignment, as few students earned acceptable grades on their recitations last week. 


Also, if it was not completed in the time allotted in class, students should finish the review worksheet entitled “Language Arts.”




Abigail P. Wald


Reminder -- Project and Test

This is a reminder that letter # 1 of the out of class reading project is due tomorrow, Tuesday, May 15, 2012, for those students who were required to complete it.  Letter #2 is due on May 30. 


ALL students should be reading a book outside of class (even if not required to do the project) and be prepared to answer questions and/or write about it in class.


Also, a vocabulary quiz on the first 4 chapters of Ten Little Indians will be on Wednesday



Homework 7th grade, Due May 15


Following the directions on the sheet given in class, please write the FIRST paragraph only of a report on television.


Friday, May 11, 2012

7th and 8th grade homework

7th graders should be studying for a vocabulary test next Wednesday (May 16).  The test will cover vocabulary from chapters 1-4 of Ten Little Indians, with an emphasis on chapters 3 and 4 as well as the “ly” words (adverbs like surreptitiously, conscientiously, and adroitly).


8th graders should be studying The Declaration of Independence for a second recitation due Tuesday, May 15.  Students, in general, did quite poorly on this recitation a few days ago, and they are being asked to continue trying to memorize the first few sentences.  The first recitation grade WILL stand, but a second recitation grade will help to balance it out.  Ms. Briggs and I challenged the students who earned good scores the first time to aim for at least one letter grade of improvement. 




Wednesday, May 2, 2012

7th and 8th: homework, tests, projects, memorizations, oh my!

7th graders have their independent reading project letters due on May 15 and 30, as detailed in yesterday’s email and blog posting.  They will also be having a TEST on May 7 that covers the VOCABULARY we’ve been learning from chapters 1 – 4 of Ten Little Indians.  There will be some time dedicated in class to reviewing this vocabulary, but students will also need to study at home.  They may print their vocabulary lists off of their iPads to bring home.


8th graders have a “layered curriculum” project that they will begin in class today.  In this project, they have a menu of options to choose from to earn a particular grade.  They will have 2 ½ blocks to work on this project, which may be sufficient for some students.  Time may need to be spent on the project over the weekend or during nights this week. The entire project is due at the start of class on Monday, May 7.  Additionally, students are being asked to memorize and recite the beginning of The Declaration of Independence as part of our ongoing commitment to grappling with rigorous text and our current study of our rights as Americans (related to the class novel).  The first sentence is the basic requirement, and memorizing it will earn students a 75%.  They may choose to memorize more of the text, and may earn up to a 105%. Recitations will be held on Tuesday, May 8. 


All students will be having end of the year exams.  It is never too early to start reviewing for these by organizing binders, reading through notes, making flash cards for vocabulary, correcting old worksheets, et cetera.  June will be upon us all before we know it!





Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Last Independent Reading Project

7th Grade Parents,


The final independent reading project is to read a book in a genre of choice and compose two 400-word letters/emails to me about the book.  The first letter/email should be written at the halfway point in the book, and the second should be written when the book is completed.  Each letter/email should be 400 words and should be approximately half summary of the text and half personal response (opinions about characters, predictions, things you notice about the author’s style, connections, et cetera). 


Letter one is DUE on or before MAY 15, 2012


Letter two is DUE on or before MAY 29, 2012


Students who earned a 3 or a 4 on the NECAP this past fall are exempt from writing the letters, but are still expected to read a book and be ready for an informal assessment(s) on that book. 




Abby Wald

Friday, April 6, 2012


New due date for 7th grade mystery project:  Wednesday, April 25.  The original date, April 18, is actually during break.  Sorry for any confusion.



Thursday, April 5, 2012

Two upcoming assignments for 8th graders, both due at the start of class on Tuesday, April 10:


1.  Personal Narrative final drafts (first and second drafts were completed in class and some time has been given already for finals)

2.  Nothing But the Truth “layered curriculum” -- briefly put, this is a menu of mini-projects that students choose from in order to earn points towards a particular grade.  Fifty minutes of class time was given today, the same amount will be given tomorrow, and at least thirty minutes will be given on Monday.  Depending on the student and the mini-projects chosen, this may not be sufficient time. 

Abigail P. Wald

Fair Haven Grade School

Middle Level Language Arts and Co-Team Leader

802-265-3883, extension 249


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Two (okay, four) items



7th graders were given a permission slip in English class for a trip on the 5th of April.  Please return slips to TA ASAP.


7th graders were assigned a copy of Ten Little Indians that they are responsible for caring for and bringing to class every day. They were asked to read chapter one tonight.  The vocabulary is quite challenging, so I asked students to read it, but not to worry too much if there were some things they didn’t understand.  We will be re-reading chapter one as a class, but it is nice for the kids to have some familiarity with it in advance.


7th graders were asked to have their last vocabulary test signed by a parent.  It should have gone home last week or yesterday at the latest.


7th graders who need to do the mystery project should be nearing the end of their mystery books and at least beginning to think about what they will do for a project (due April 18). Details were posted on my blog a few weeks ago, and handed to students on yellow copy paper at the same time.  Please email me with questions. 




Abigail P. Wald

Fair Haven Grade School

Middle Level Language Arts and Co-Team Leader

802-265-3883, extension 249


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

8th grade homework

Write a paragraph on “paradigms” using the expectations given on the board in class.


Vocab packet all week!



Saturday, March 10, 2012

Mystery Project 7th Grade

 Independent Reading Project 5 – Mystery / Crime / Detective novel


Choose a MYSTERY, CRIME, or DETECTIVE novel.  This is a work of fiction in which the main character(s), sometimes a detective by trade, is involved in trying to solve a riddle, crime, or mystery.  The character(s) is on a search – sometimes for the "truth", but more often than not, for the perpetrator of a crime.  The main action of the novel is focused on turning up clues, following leads, investigating possibilities, and interviewing suspects. As the novel unfolds, the reader is invited to consider the solutions and even possibly solve the mystery before the "detective".  The novel does not end until the mystery, riddle, or crime is solved. 


The first "detective" story, "Murders in the Rue Morgue" was written by Edgar Allen Poe in 1841.  The first writer of mystery / crime / detective novels was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who wrote the Sherlock Holmes books.  Popular detective novels for young adult readers include the Nancy Drew series, the Hardy Boys series, The Westing Game, and From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. There is also a well-written series of mysteries in the National Parks.


Read the novel, and complete one of the projects below by APRIL 18TH. All projects need to be clearly labeled with your name and the title of your book.  The project will be worth 100 points, with 10 points off per day late (you may buy one day with a late pass).




1).  After reading a book, each student selects a book report container.  This container can be a plastic bag, a manila envelope, a can, a shoebox or any other object that can hold items

2)  The students decorate the container to convey major details, elements, or themes found in the book.

3).  Students will then work on the contents of their container.  They will need to include the following:

  • Questions-Write ten questions based on the book.  Write five "right there" questions and five questions that require some more thought
  • Vocabulary-Create a ten word glossary of unfamiliar words from the book.
  • Things-Include five things (objects) that have a connection to the story, and a written explanation of each connection.



1).  The student composes eight questions to ask a main character in the book.  The students write the questions and the character's response to each question.  The questions and responses should indicate the student's knowledge of the story without giving away the most significant details.

2).  On the day the assignment is due, the student will either dress up as the main character or use props to depict what the character has an interest in, and will pose as he character for an "interview".


1).  Each student creates a front cover of a newspaper that tells about events and characters in a book just read.  The newspaper must include:

  • Title-That is appropriate for the book, but not simply a copy of the title
  • Major Story-This is where the student writes a summary.
  • Comic Strip-Illustrating an event from the story.
  • Editorial-Students write an opinion about the book.


DEAR DIARY:  A great choice for kids who need project broken into steps

1).  The students will write at least six 100-word-minimum diary or journal entries that might have been written by the main character in the book just read.  The entries should share details about the story that will prove the students read the book.  (Note:  the easiest way to do this is to write the entries as you are reading!)

2).  The students will then make a cover for their character's diary, and include all entries.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

7th grade homework Feb 27


7th graders are asked to get their vocab test signed (corrections optional).


Also, please remember that the 3D object is due on Wednesday.


See the following link for more details:



Monday, February 27, 2012

8th grade homework week of February 27

8th graders are asked to have their vocab tests signed.  Corrections, with explanations, are optional for credit.

Also, a new vocabulary packet was handed out today, and there is at least one page due per night.  

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tuesday Homework 7th grade

7th graders:

Please complete review worksheet (crossword puzzle) and begin studying for vocabulary test on FRIDAY.

Mrs. Wald


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

7th grade project

Students should finish reading their fantasy or science fiction novels by about the 22nd of February, so they have plenty of time to do a quality job on their three-dimensional object, due on Feb 29.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Essay prep AND letter

7th graders:

Please be sure you are in good shape for writing the "in class" essay on the Pearl on Monday. You should already have a completed chart (graphic organizer) and the first paragraph finished, as we've spent a total of over an hour on these in class time. If you missed class time or didn't use class time well, you should work on this over the weekend.

Also, please do not forget to be reading your fantasy novel and get your letter written to turn in on the 8th. You should have read about half the book before writing the letter.

~Mrs. Wald

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

8th grade recitation

8th graders need to memorize and recite the Gettysburg Address for Friday, February 3. They will earn a 65% for even just memorizing and reciting the first sentence, but should try to memorize more, and preferably ALL of the speech. Each sentence after the first one will garner 5 additional points.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

7th grade homework Thursday night

7th graders had time in class today to answer 11 questions about The Pearl.  Some finished, but some barely started.  All are expected to complete the work for homework tonight if they did not turn it in before the end of the period.  It was certainly possible to complete the assignment, as several students did, but I agreed to allow it to be finished as homework. 


Due date

8th grade:


My earlier post and email didn’t include the due date for the essay.  Monday, January 30th, please.


Mrs. Wald

homework for 8th grade

8th graders are to finish the personal essays we’ve been working on in class.  I will be looking for a first and second draft, with the expectation that the second is an obvious improvement over the first.  I’d prefer the second draft typed, if possible. 



Tuesday, January 24, 2012

7th and 8th grade homework 1/23

Sorry this was not posted last night....
7th graders:  Please show your midterm to your parents and ask them to sign it.  This is a five point homework grade.  Also, please show your parents your blue handout about the new reading project, and read it yourself. There will be no penalty for turning the midterm signature in late, but please do it ASAP.
8th graders:  A new vocab worksheet packet was given in class today, and will be weeklong homework.  There are pages assigned to be done each night from Monday to Thursday nights, and there will be a vocabulary test on Friday.
Mrs. Wald

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

New Independent Reading Project Information -- Grade 7

Independent Reading Project # 4 -- FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION

Characteristics of Fantasy: 

·         Imaginary, highly detailed societies that are mostly outside of the realm of possibility

·         Visually descriptive writing

·         May include a struggle of Good versus Evil

·         Magical, mythological, unusual, or supernatural creatures and races of beings

·         Hero (often an underdog) goes on a Quest to save someone, something, or entire world

·         Magical, mythological, unusual, or supernatural objects / foods / transportation / tools / powers

·         Talking animals or talking objects

Characteristics of Science Fiction:

·         Futuristic society that is often idealistic (may comment on our current society’s ills)

·         Involves detailed descriptions of technology and scientific advances (cool gadgets!)

·         Daily tools of the society are above and beyond our current tools, but believable

·         Often involves a “good versus evil” plot line

·         Often involves people “playing God” or shows the results of “playing God”

·         Time travel or travel to other worlds

·         Themes may relate to manipulation, power, and control

·         Hero may go on a quest, mission, voyage, or journey to “save the world”

Your Quest (what you need to do to get a good grade):

1.            Pick a fantasy or sci-fi novel of your choice, at your reading level and of at least 150 pages on January 13th.

2.            When half through, or by February 8th at the latest, write a letter to Mrs. Wald about your book.  Your letter must be at least 350 words, and may be hand-written, typed, or emailed to  Be sure to include:  SUMMARY (see class notes!) and EVALUATION of the novel.  About half of the letter should be summary, and the other half should be evaluation – your thoughts, opinions, predictions, and specific examples of the characteristics of the genre.

3.            When finished, or by February 29th at the latest, create a THREE DIMENSIONAL OBJECT REPRESENTING THE BOOK.  This is NOT a diorama of a scene from the book.  It is a symbolic representation of the book as a whole.  For example, you could make a cube and decorate all six sides.  Criteria:

§         It is 3-dimensional

§         It is colorful or at least done in ink – not pencil

§         It is neatly put together (words, illustrations, cutting, gluing)

§         It includes an original, written summary of the novel (see notes!)

§         It shows and describes main character(s)

§         It shows and describes the “world” of the book

§         It names the genre and gives at least three specific examples of the characteristics of the genre as found in the book (quotes and page numbers)

§         It makes sense on its own (ie:  people should “get it” if you aren’t there to explain it to them)




Monday, January 9, 2012

7th grade homework week of 1/9

7th graders are reminded to keep making three flashcards per night this week.  They are graded every day, so this “small” assignment does add up.


Also, 7th graders are reminded of the essay due on Wednesday – 5 paragraphs on their outside reading book (historical fiction).  The essay structure is in all students’ notebooks and was reviewed again on Friday.  The thesis statement needs to be about three things the author did well when writing the book, with at least ONE of these three things being an attempt at historical accuracy. 


Late passes will not be accepted for the essay, as relayed to the students on January 3rd, and reiterated daily.  Every day late will be 10 points off. 


The essay is part of the mid-term exam grade.



Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Unusual Homework for 8th grade

8th graders:  please make a 3-column chart with these headings:


Item ----- Description ---- Inference


Leave the inference column blank, but fill the other two columns with items you typically carry during an average day.  Be sure your description would help a classmate “see” your item clearly enough to make an inference about you.



7th grade homework 1/3 and through midterms

With MIDTERMS fast approaching (third week of January), homework will focus on exam prep.  For 7th graders, this means TWO THINGS:


1.  Every night we have school (so, yes, even Friday), students are to review their notes and glean topics, concepts, ideas, definitions, and facts that are likely to be on the exam.  They will make THREE FLASH CARDS each night, and bring them to class the next day to share and use during exam review time.  This will be graded.


2.  Between now and January 11, students are to write a five paragraph essay on their historical fiction novels.  This essay will form a sizeable portion of their exam.  It is due a week prior to the exam to give me time to read and assess it fairly.  I will reduce late essays by 10 points per day, with the three day weekend counting as 30 points.


In early December, we had a library lesson on the genre of historical fiction, and students were given note-taking bookmarks to use as they read.  These novels were picked in early December and reminders have been given to read them.  The five paragraph essay is to focus on “author’s craft”, which is a term used in language arts class to mean the tools the writer uses to tell the story well.  Author’s craft may include similes, metaphors, flashbacks, sensory description, point of view shifts, and more. One specific craft in a historical fiction novel is the use of historically accuracy – the items of everyday life, the news and famous personalities of the time, the ideas and prejudices of the time, et cetera.  The five paragraph essay will focus on THREE aspects of the author’s craft, as evidenced in the novel, with a requirement that ONE of these be historical accuracy.  A sample thesis statement is:  The writer of Lyddie, Katherine Paterson, creates a well-written novel by incorporating a believable character, using figurative language, and maintaining historical accuracy throughout.  Another sample: The novel, Lyddie, by Katherine Paterson, is a well-written historical fiction novel because it uses a believable character, figurative language, and historically accurate details. 


Between now and midterms I will be available most days after school to help students with reviewing topics they are struggling to master and to provide tools (such as revising guides) and guidance for working on their essays.  We’ll also be dedicating homework time to learning one review strategy (note cards) and about ten minutes per day of class time on drilling and reviewing.